Horticulture is one word but it encompasses many different aspects and topics that can lead to a wide range of careers that involve plants. It brings together the three areas of science, business and technology to form an industry which has the potential to be dynamic and ever evolving. There are not many courses available that can lead to such a wide and varying range of studies.

A horticultural careers day will take place at the Teagasc Kildalton College on Thursday, May 8. Information on courses, applications, grants, accommodation will be available as well as guided tours of the Teagasc facilities.

The Teagasc Kildalton Horticultural College is unique in that it has the facilities to grow and show these components. Situated on the outskirts of Piltown in south Kilkenny on what was formerly the Bessborough Estate, Kildalton has extensive mature grounds and gardens that are used by students for plant identification. Students also learn to use a wide range of horticultural machinery and equipment and that includes tractor driving.

Kildalton Horticultural College is also in the unique position of having various trials aimed at improving production methods and observing new crops with potential in Ireland in conjunction with Teagasc Advisory and Research staff.

Ciaran Walsh, Assistant College Principal, Horticulture said: “Food production is now very important. Here at Kildalton in conjunction with Teagasc Advisory and Research we aim to provide developments which may offer growers increased returns in the future. We want our students to be innovative, to be aware of and look for alternative more efficient methods of producing crops”.

The Certificate in Horticulture, Level 5, is the starting point for most entrants coming to Kildalton. This one year course provides a general introduction to the world of horticulture giving students the basics in fruit and vegetable production, nursery, protected crops, turf grass, and landscape construction as well as basic subjects such as soil science, plant science, plant identification, and pest and disease identification. These students may then progress to the Level 6, Advanced Certificate in Horticulture. Students who have successfully completed the Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture elsewhere are also eligible to apply for a place on the Level 6 programme. Students who have successfully completed the Advanced Level 6 course may, with certain requirements, progress to the second year of the degree programme with WIT.

Waterford Institute of Technology in conjunction with Kildalton also offer three years ordinary degree in horticulture. Students completing this course also get to experience a wide variety of areas in horticulture both through their studies and by being exposed to the wide diversity of plants grown in Kildalton.

Application to both the Level 5 and Level 6 courses are made directly to Kildalton College. These courses are open to anyone over the age of 17. There are no previous educational requirements.

The Open Day on Thursday, May 8, starts at 10.00 am.

For further information you can contact 051-644400.